Consider Sir Alexander Fleming, who worked tirelessly to understand the properties of staphylococci. His well-known untidiness led to his leaving bacteria samples still in petri dishes while he went on holiday. He returned to find mold (penicillin) growing in them and observed it killing the bacteria around it and went on to consider the possibilities. The moral: Open your eyes.
Creative Geniuses aren’t necessarily smarter than others. What they can do is expand their mind, consider pathways and juxtapositions that open new avenues of thought and ideas. Even something that sounds as simple as “opening your mind” can be difficult. Practice is needed often to attain it.
Other great creative thinkers can provide us with more ways to grow creatively. Here’s a few of my favorites:
Don’t Defend Your Designs – One of the greatest creative minds was Galileo, who in 1616 traveled to Rome to argue in favor of Copernicus’ theory that the earth moved around the sun. He would later be tried and imprisoned and lived his final days on house arrest. Moral: Just because no one understands you, doesn’t mean you are not a genius.
Fitting In is Overrated – In May of last year, Mary Cassatt’s painting, “Sara Holding a Cat,” sold for more than $2.5 million, the top seller in Christie’s American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture auction. Cassatt’s acceptance into the high-end art world was tainted by many factors – most notably her gender. Although she criticized the politics of the Salon, she consistently entered her paintings for art show inclusion. After her paintings were not accepted in 1877, Degas invited her to join with a local group of rebels – the Impressionists. Moral: Believe in your work; cultivate a network of other creatives.
Ignore the Critics – Marie Curie shared her first Nobel Prize in Physics with her husband, Pierre Curie and colleague, Henri Becquerel in 1903. Eight years later, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering elements radium and polonium. The widowed Curie found that the honor was tainted by jealous academic colleagues who suggested that a relationship with fellow physicist Paul Langevin, who was separated from his wife, was adulterous. So vicious were the attacks on her, angry mobs would congregate at her home. The scandal did not deter her from good works or accepting her second Prize. She worked on the front lines with battlefield surgeons during WWI, creating mobile x-ray units and taking on the role of the Director of the Red Cross Radiology Service and set up. Moral: You will be criticized. Don’t let it define you.
30 Days to Creative Genius Ultimate Collection is MyDesignShop.com’s exclusive Kit of the Month. Seven products that will provide hours of creative ways to bend, warp and expand your mind.
Five of our most popular books serve as the creative springboard of this collection: David Sherwin’s Creative Workshop; David Gouveia and Christopher Elkerton’s Creative Stuff: An Activity Book for Visual Thinkers; Ethan Bodnar’s Creative Grab Bag; Stefan Mumaw and Wendy Lee Oldfield’s Caffeine for the Creative Mind: 250 Exercises to Wake Up Your Brain; and Jessica Glaser and Carolyn Knight’s Graphic Design Exercise Book: Creative Assignments to Enhance Your Skills and Develop Your Portfolio. Together, there are more than 350 creative exercises that will expand your mind and your way of thinking.
Additionally, the 30 Days to Creative Genius Ultimate Collection has two OnDemand Tutorials that can be downloaded and viewed at your leisure. The first, 7 Killer Steps to Generating Big, Fat, Hairy Design Ideas is led by Mumaw; and the second, The Accidental Creative Part 1: How To Be Brilliant at a Moment’s was developed by Todd Henry.
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